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The head of the Chicago Teachers College said in 1940, the black “is warned to beware of the white man and many of his attitudes…are colored by this caution.Teachers ‘pick on him’ not because he misbehaves but because he is black.… Every teacher…knows that the first reaction of a Negro when she threatens to punish him is to say, ‘The law won’t let you hit me.’” All this is long before the civil rights revolution of the 1950s and 1960s and the expansion of the rights of school children.
Access to the top tier required at least basic numerical and language skills.
She writes that vocational education “offers one example of how black students could be disadvantaged by policies that were ostensibly race neutral.” One reason blacks were denied the upper tier was that discriminatory trade unions would prevent them from using the skills they learned.
In the postwar period she documents a widening education gap between black and immigrant students.
Did insufficient or poor jobs for blacks give them less reason to stay in school?
The most urgent issue in American education for the last half century has been the failure of large numbers of African American children and older students to complete their education and reach an average level of competence.
It is 10 years since the publication of , the collection of studies edited by Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips, in which the education deficit was labeled starkly as the single most important obstacle to black advancement. At the beginning of , “The dominant and disturbing fact about ghetto schools is that the teachers and the students regard each other as adversaries.
The second is racial barriers to employment in the North, “more subtle but no less real” than in the South.
The third possibility is the rise of an “oppositional culture,” in which “academic effort [was framed] as a betrayal of racial identity—‘acting white.’” On the issue of resources, she documents rising expenditure for the schools (in 1980 dollars) during this entire period; rising salaries for teachers, particularly in the 1950s; and declining numbers of students per teacher.
Clearly, this was related to immigration from the South and the resulting areas of black concentration, which were shaped by residential and labor market discrimination.
At the least, the Chicago school authorities countenanced this development, but in response to community pressures they also facilitated it through school assignment and school districting.